Over 500 guests filled the Seattle Marriott Waterfront ballroom to hear our Scholars share their stories, dreams, and incredible accomplishments, all too often achieved under very difficult circumstances and without support. Through the power of video, beautifully produced by Interchange Media, each story came alive. This year, the entire night was Scholar-focused as past Scholars presented scholarships to new students. Our emcee extraordinaire was our very own 2013 Scholar, current Board member, and Starbucks partner, Danny Cords.
Special moments of the evening included hearing from 2003 Scholar Melissa M, who shared her journey from hard times to being the impressive professional she is today. Then we had the presentation of the two newly endowed scholarships. It is an amazing tribute to honor someone's memory by creating a lifetime scholarship! Leslie presented the Giblett Family Scholarship to a student who is majoring in Political Science with the goal of representing the LGBT community in elected office. Carrie presented the L. Robb Scholarship to a fourth year GSBA Scholar and a student at Whitman College studying Economics.
We were thrilled that Glenn and Michael; Bob and
Dana; Kent, Shay, and Richelle; Linda; and Tina were all on stage to congratulate their scholars.
Hearing from our named scholarship donors, and from the recipients, created some very powerful moments that I know inspired many guests to think about leaving a legacy. If you are considering supporting a future LGBTQ leader, please don't hesitate to reach out to Mark, Stephanie, or me. We would love the opportunity to provide the GSBA Guarantee to even more deserving students next year.
Two corporate partners created new scholarships this year, as well. Kasey presented the first Wells Fargo GSBA Scholarship to Rigoberto who is currently pursuing a degree in accounting at Seattle University; and Joe Whittinghill presented the Microsoft Scholarships to Olivia (Digi Pen Institute of Technology), Katherine (University of Washington), and Julia (University of Washington).
The announcement of the GSBA Guarantee brought folks to their feet as we announced that,from this year forward, every Scholar will be guaranteed support for all four years of their undergraduate education as long as they stay in school.
If you were unable to attend this powerfully moving 26th Scholars Dinner, it's not too late to join the celebration and to invest in the next generation of leaders by making a donation today.
Also, it was so exciting to see many guests ready to sign up as table captains for our over-the-top Scholarship Fund gala, the TASTE of GSBA on November 19, 2016
. Given, this event has sold out for the past five years, it is a good reminder to reserve your TASTE table now
Before I conclude my thanks to you all, I want to acknowledge the outstanding response from the business community to stand up against bigotry and intolerance by joining together and signing on to Washington Won't Discriminate,
our campaign created to ensure our antidiscrimination policy, which has been in effect for 10 years, does not roll back civil rights for our transgender community. VOTE NO ON I-1515!
If your business has not yet signed on to WA Won't Discriminate, please do so now. Certainly, weakening our civil rights laws does not reflect Washington State values, where we are proud of being a progressive and inclusive state.
For the future,
President & CEO